A new approach to the chronology of caves 268/272/275 in the Dunhuang Mogao Grottoes: combining radiocarbon dates and archaeological information within a Bayesian statistical framework

Guo, Q., Staff, R. A. , Lu, C., Liu, C., Dee, M., Chen, Y., Pollard, A. M., Rawson, J., Su, B. and Liu, R. (2018) A new approach to the chronology of caves 268/272/275 in the Dunhuang Mogao Grottoes: combining radiocarbon dates and archaeological information within a Bayesian statistical framework. Radiocarbon, 60(2), pp. 667-679. (doi:10.1017/RDC.2018.4)

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Abstract

The construction chronology of three of the earliest Dunhuang Mogao Grottoes (Caves 268, 272, and 275) has been the subject of ongoing debate for over half a century. This chronology is a crucial topic in terms of further understanding of the establishment of the Dunhuang Mogao Grottoes, early Buddhism in the Gansu corridor, and its relationship with Buddhism developed in the Central Plains. Building upon archaeological, art historical and radiocarbon (14C) dating studies, we integrate new 14C data with these previously published findings utilizing Bayesian statistical modeling to improve the chronological resolution of this issue. Thus, we determine that all three of these caves were constructed around AD 410–440, suggesting coeval rather than sequential construction.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Staff, Dr Richard
Authors: Guo, Q., Staff, R. A., Lu, C., Liu, C., Dee, M., Chen, Y., Pollard, A. M., Rawson, J., Su, B., and Liu, R.
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > Scottish Universities Environmental Research Centre
Journal Name:Radiocarbon
Publisher:Cambridge University Press
ISSN:0033-8222
ISSN (Online):1945-5755
Published Online:25 April 2018
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2018 Arizona Board of Regents on behalf of the University of Arizona
First Published:First published in Radiocarbon 60(2): 667-679
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the publisher copyright policy

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